Skip to main content

tv   Smerconish  CNN  July 22, 2017 7:00am-8:00am PDT

7:00 am
i'm michael smerkonish in philadelphia. we welcome viewers in the united states and around the world. we're six months into the trump administration. by any reasonable assessment, it was not a good week for potus. he dissed his own attorney general. his staff has been brushing up on the subject of partens. he changed lawyers and his press secretary quit. still, i want to give the president a pat on the back. he did make one great hire this week and i will tell you who. also president trump will speak in a couple of minutes at the ceremony commissioning the navy's newest aircraft carrier, "uss gerald ford." his friend, chris ruddy, is here. and one of bill broader's hedge fund employees died in a russian prison. so brouder took on putin. he, too, is here. and arnold schwarzenegger is back with me to explain how california overcame party differences to tackle climate
7:01 am
change. but first, we're six months and two days into the trump administration. this week like many that preceded it was marked with volatility. i wanted to take note that he actually made a good decision this week. but i understand why it got lost in the shuffle. despite literally years of promises to the contrary, the republicans, who control both houses and the white house, failed in their effort to repeal and replace obamacare. then on wednesday, in a rambling interview with the "new york times," the president seemed to throw his earliest supporter in the senate under the bus. the now attorney general jeff sessions. the president said that he would have never appointed sessions if he knew he would recuse himself from overseeing the russia investigation. he had more choice words for former fbi director james comey and said that special counsel robert mueller is running an office rife with conflict and yesterday brought word that the white house is now exploring the president's pardon powers. and the "washington post" reports that sessions in fact
7:02 am
did discuss matters related to the trump campaign with the russian ambassador, sergei kislyak. and this was all before sean spicer resigned. this was a chaotic week for donald trump and one that overshadowed a bright spot, in my opinion. given the current events and the fragile relationship and the united states and russia, the american ambassador to russia is arguably the most important posting in our diplomatic corps. it would have been objectionable had the president appointed a flunkie. someone lacking credentials to this important post. but instead he selected jon huntsman, who not only distinguished himself as a two-term governor of utah, but also as president obama's ambassador to china and president george h.w. bush's ambassador to singapore. he has cleared confirmation without a single vote in opposition. in appointing governor hundredsman, the president has selected a credible, qualified
7:03 am
public servant who is no trump yes man. it was huntsman who called the 2016 gop primary process a race to the bottom. and even called for trump's withdrawal from the race after the "access hollywood" tape surfaced. president trump once dismissed hundredsman as a lightweight and weak. in 2012 he tweeted, jon huntsman called to see me. i said no, he gave our country away to china. it's now nice to see both men setting aside their personal differences. huntsman has distinguished himself as co-chair with joe lieberman of the know labels group. he's a conservative, he's not an idealogue. and finally in a world of incivility i have never heard an intemperate word come from jon huntsman's mouth. his even disposition is in opposition to the volatility of the man who just appointed him so good pick, mr. president,
7:04 am
please give him the latitude to do the job. as for those first six months and two days in office, here are two things we know about president trump. first, he is much less popular at this stage than any president on record according to gallup. his approval rating, 39%, is more than 20 points below the average presidential approval at this point. and second, his base, republican voters, still very much on board. 85% of republicans approve of the president. compared to just 8% of democrats. so how can we make sense of what the white house calls donald trump's six months of america first? chris ruddy is ceo of newsmax media, they own several conservative outlets, a long-time friend of president trump. chris this has been, i said a rough week. it's been a really rough two weeks in particular. do you have an assessment as to how he's holding up? >> well i think he's holding up great. look at the polls. the approval polls are down a
7:05 am
little bit. but considering the incredible barrage, michael, this president has undergone of media criticism and attacks, if you look at some of the polls that people that voted for him. they're saying like the 0-plus percent are still with him. i think those are amazing numbers. he and i just chatted by phone yesterday in fact. we talked about a number of things, he's very enthusiastic, excited about anthony scaramucci joining his staff. i mentioned i was going on your show and he was excited to hear that. he told me he thinks you're one of the few, i think he said you're the only journalist on cnn that gives him a fair shake. so my hat is off to you to get that compliment from the president. >> you're jeopardizing my job with your compliments. but you're telling me that he's, he's doing well. i mean chris, there's been an onslaught, i don't want to go through the whole list, because i just did it at the top of the program. whether it's, well i started to do it. you're telling me despite all of
7:06 am
this, the problems with sessions, the russia probe, the pardon conversation, that his tone, his demeanor, is still one of strength? >> this man is extremely resilient. i've known him for a long time. i've always found when things are tough, he's actually more resilient, more relaxed. he can deal with numerous problems, issues, crises going on at the same time. he's a man that ran a phenomenal multibillion-dollar real estate empire around the world. at the same time he was a hit tv star, in a primetime show that lasted for 15 years. at the same time he was a major media political figure. so he's handled like three careers simultaneously. so for donald trump, handling a number of things, this is like easy stuff. i think what we've seen here is there's an adjustment period for him. he's never been president, there's no on-the-job training for it. he's never really been in politics officially.
7:07 am
he doesn't have a cadre of people he trusts. i think the scaramucci move is a sign he's bringing in people that he really trusts, that he thinks are very savvy and know how to do things and can get things done. >> i want to roll some audio from scaramucci yesterday. making his maiden voyage in the white house press room. play it and then i'm going to ask a question. >> i love the president and i'm very, very loyal to the president. the president is phenomenal with the press. he's an unbelievable politician. he's genuinely a wonderful human being. i've seen this guy throw a dead spiral through a tire. he sinks three-foot putts. i love the president. >> chris in shaking up the communications aspect of the white house, it seems to me that the president is saying, we're not selling this well. it's not that the product is bad, but we're not selling that which we're doing effectively, many americans would disagree with that assessment. is that his interpretation? it's all in the way in which
7:08 am
it's being presented? >> let me give you a good example. yesterday when i chatted with him on the phone. we're talking about the august edition of newsmax magazine, which is out with a cover story about how the president is overhauling the veterans administration. before he even became president, donald trump convened the heads of kaiser permanente, mayo clinic and johns hopkins, 10 different health organizations said look i want you to come in from the private sector, overhaul the whole agency. he picked an obama appointee who had a legally good track record and he made him secretary, secretary shelken. this is all in our story. he gets no credit for this dramatic overhaul that has been under way now for six months at the veterans administration. you know it's a myth, michael, that the president is very hates criticism, can't handle criticism. he's very open to constructive criticism. what i think bothers him the most are unfair attacks against him, personal attacks.
7:09 am
but where the media never talks about anything good about him. that's what the problem with cnn and, and msnbc as well. >> but chris, it's like we're living in alternative universes where you're saying there's positive news and only a conservative outlet like newsmax will tell it. to those who read the "washington post" on a day like today and learn that according to intercepts, apparently there was conversation between the attorney general now, jeff sessions and sergei kislyak, about the trump campaign. that is that is, couldn't be more foreboding. how are we to look past that to talk about the va on a day like today? >> allky tell you is i think your saving grace is you're a philadelphia guy urks not a beltway guy and you're not a hollywood guy. all of those people that readed "washington post" religiously every day, they still cannot get over the fact that donald trump won the election last november. it's they who are living in an
7:10 am
alternative universe. and they wake up and look at the house intelligence committee report of july 7th. have you seen that, michael? the senate report? >> i have seen it. i'm totally -- >> this got zero coverage on cnn. this reported that internal security agencies to the united states are leaking on average once a day, top-secret classified information against the president and his administration, there are 144 leaks up until that report on july 7th. almost every single day since he's been inaugurated. and the "washington post" comes out with a story today, with another embarrassing leak, classified leak, it's a criminal act to leak that type of information. to hurt attorney general sessions. and nobody wants -- isn't that an issue that we should be discussing? why are there so many internal government leaks? that are illegal, being made
7:11 am
against the president? don't you think that you as a press organization, look, we all benefit from leaks, because we talk about them in the press. but the truth is they're very harmful to the country. >> but chris, respectfully what about the substance. >> i am talking about the substance. >> we should be having the conversation about the leak? >> let's talk about the substance of the crime. the underlying crime is that somebody leaked classified information. the president's private conversations with world leaders have been leaked, i think three or four times now. these are probably the most guarded secrets a nation can have, the press doesn't think there's anything wrong with this. so when donald trump has a 15-minute private conversation with putin and there's no note-taker, they're surprised and shocked that he did this? >> you have to let me respond to this. if the story is true in the "post" today and i grant you it's possible that it's bogus
7:12 am
and kislyak was lying. but if it's true, it means there was collusion. because why else would jeff sessions have a campaign-related conversation with serge gai kislyak? >> the obama administration set up the meeting and asked the diplomats, including the russian diplomat, to go to cleveland and meet with republicans, including jeff sessions. who was a u.s. senator. at an event there, they bumped into each other and talked. at an obama-created event, at the republican national convention. kislyak reports back to russia, he told me things about the campaign. for all we know there was a conversation with sessions saying we look forward to working with you guys and building a new relationship once we get into the white house. that would be considered a campaign-related discussion, wouldn't it be? it seems very innocuous, very benign. we don't even know what the substance of the discussions
7:13 am
were. yet, we're already suggesting that somebody on cnn accused attorney general sessions of treason. that's a very serious crime to accuse somebody of treason and very unfair. >> i want to show you a tweet from the president. very active on twitter. a new on this subject, a new intelligence leak from the amazon/"washington post," this time against a.g. jeff sessions, these illegal leaks like comey's must stop. you've just underscored these points. why the amazon reference? is that a play to the base. in other words, we're walmart people and it's the amazon folks, the liberal beltway that are trying to take us down? >> fortunately i'm not a white house spokesman, or somebody that speaks on behalf of the president. >> he and i have not talked
7:14 am
about what we think about amazon, for instance. i think there's a sense that most of the press is against them. the shornstein study out of harvard, not a conservative organization, okay? a liberal organization, issued a report, said that press coverage of this president had been so overwhelmingly negative that it had broke all historical precedent. i think there's a duty, michael, that you have, and i have, and newsmax if you go up there right now, you'll see we cover the "washington post" story. but we have also stories that defend the president and give a fair balance that you're not getting from the rest of the media. i think we have a duty as journalists, as media people to give the public both sides. >> i have just done that. you've just been here for ten minutes at the six-month point of this administration and i've allowed you to make all of these points. i have a time constraint. and i hope you'll come back, maybe at the end of the
7:15 am
president's remarks at the end of this hour. >> sure, i'll be happy to. >> what do you think? i will read some responses throughout the course of the program. what do we have? smerkonish, isn't it concerning that the russian ambassador spoke out against sessions just after trump raised issues with sessions' recusal? i think the president may have boxed himself in is so far as he has regarded this all as a witch hunt hand a hoax. if he gets rid of sessions, forces him to resign or fires him, it's an acknowledgement that it wasn't a witch hunt or a hoax. one more if we have time. smerkonish, trump, good decision, i was ready to rip whatever nonsense you came up with. i have to agree with you on the huntsman pick. terry, if the president picked a knucklehead, a flunkie, a yes person to be the u.s. ambassador to russia in this climate? we would be fit to be tied hand rightfully so. but you know what? he didn't. jon huntsman is a good man and i
7:16 am
think a straight shooter. coming up, live to norfolk, virginia, where president trump is dedicating the navy's new $13 billion supercarrier. and later this hour, bill brouder went from running russia's hedge fund to being a thorn in the side of putin. i'll talk to him and plus my exclusive conversation with governor arnold schwarzenegger. that's all ahead. >> 13 million people die a year, that is not kind of a theory or this is something that will happen in the future. right now, today another 19,000 people are dying because of pollution. and that we have to stop. everyone has defeated that.
7:17 am
7:18 am
i am totally blind. and non-24 can make me show up too early... or too late. or make me feel like i'm not really "there." talk to your doctor, and call 844-234-2424. we send our kids out into the world, full of hope.
7:19 am
and we don't want something like meningitis b getting in their way. meningococcal group b disease, or meningitis b, is real. bexsero is a vaccine to help prevent meningitis b in 10 to 25 year olds. even if meningitis b is uncommon, that's not a chance we're willing to take. meningitis b is different from the meningitis most teens were probably vaccinated against when younger. we're getting the word out against meningitis b. our teens are getting bexsero. bexsero should not be given if you had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose. most common side effects are pain, redness or hardness at the injection site; muscle pain; fatigue; headache; nausea; and joint pain. bexsero may not protect all individuals. tell your healthcare professional if you're pregnant or if you have received any other meningitis b vaccines. ask your healthcare professional about the risks and benefits of bexsero and if vaccination with bexsero is right for your teen. moms, we can't wait. which saves money. insurance a smarter way. they offer paperless billing and automatic payments.
7:20 am
which saves paper. which saves money. they offer home and auto coverage, so you can bundle your policies. which saves hassle. which saves money. and they offer a single deductible. which means you only pay once when something like this happens. which saves money. esurance was born online and built to save. and when they save, you save. that's home and auto insurance for the modern world. esurance. an allstate company. click or call. on wednesday. the senate judiciary committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on foreign influence on the election with particular focus on the controversial trump tower meeting in 2016. some key witnesses will not be there. last night the committee agreed
7:21 am
to postpone appearances by donald trump junior and former trump campaign manager manafort as they continue to negotiate the terms of their testimony. another witness, glen simpson of fusion gps, the research firm behind that notorious dossier on trump's dealings in moscow declined to attend. he was issued a senate subpoena on friday. my next guest is still scheduled to appear before the judicial committee on friday. william brouder, built a firm once the largest foreign firm in russia. crafted the magnitsky act, named after a former employee of his, reportedly killed in a russian prison. the email chain that preceded the meeting made no such reference. this is bill brouder. mr. brouder. thanks for being here. what is it you most want to convey, if in fact wednesday is the day of your testimony before the senate judiciary committee.
7:22 am
>> well, basically for the last few years since the magnitsky act was passed, vladimir putin has been enraged, and he's gone on a campaign in many different formats, and many different places, including washington, in order to try to get the mag nitsky act repealed. and the campaign that went on to repeal the act, was a campaign captained by the natalia vesealnitskyaya, the woman lawyer at the meeting. they went around washington spending money on lawyers, investigators, pr firms to try to change u.s. policy. i made a criminal complaint to the department of justice saying none of these people had registered as foreign agents as they're required to do under u.s. law. the hearing and my testimony in this hearing is about russian influence on u.s. policy and how they have tried to skirt the
7:23 am
rules to get away with it. >> like the rest of us, you've no doubt looked at the email trail that preceded the june 9, 2016 meeting at trump tower what do you think that meeting was all about? >> it's obvious to me what the russians were doing, take one step back. vladimir putin doesn't like the magnitsky act, because he's afraid his personal assets, which is huge, may be frozen in the future under the magnitsky act. he's tried to get the act repealed. and the russians that showed up there, showed up to the office of the son of the future president of the united states, and asked him if they will, if he will do something to repeal the magnitsky act. that i know for sure. what i do not know is what they were offering in return. i do not believe anything the russians say about this meeting, because they're liars.
7:24 am
>> you know that the email that preceded the meeting, the one that went to trump junior spoke of sensitive information coming with the blessing of the russian government that would incriminate hillary clinton. it made no reference whatsoever to adoption or magnitsky. why do you think that was the case? >> there's two things going on. one is what are the russians asking for, and they're not stupid, they can't ask for something big unless they're offering something. so what was in the email was some type of enticement, first of all to get the meeting. i don't know whether it was the same thing they were offering in the meeting. but that was the enticement to get the meeting. again we don't know what was offered and what was discussed in this meeting. >> i put the cart before the horse. who was sir gaye magnitsky and why were you the nish nator of an act in his name? >> yes, good question, he was my lawyer in moscow. sergei uncovered a $230 million
7:25 am
corruption scheme in which putin participated. he exposed that corruption scheme. and he was subsequently arrested, tortured for 358 days and killed at the age of 37, in a moscow prison. and from the day, the day of his death i made it my life's work to go after the people who killed him. and make sure that they face justice. one of the things which i've been able to get done is the magnitsy act, named after him. which imposes visa essentials and asset freezes on the people who killed him and the people who do similar types of things in other, in russia. the magnitsky act is something that i've done not just -- >> i'm sorry. i was simply going to say, to put these pieces together, you believe vladimir putin to be one of the, if not the wealthiest individuals on the planet. and perhaps personally affected or may be in the future, impacted by the result of your labor? >> indeed.
7:26 am
so i estimate that vladimir putin has a personal net worth of $200 billion. he's gotten this money by doing terrible things inside his own country. by arresting people, kidnapping people. torturing people and killing people and taking their property. he keeps that money in the west. and in the case of the magnitsky crime, the $230 million that sergei magnitsky exposed in the russian government, we've been able to trace some of that money going to an account of a nominee of putin. so therefore putin would have the money he keeps offshore, the money he keeps in u.s. banks frozen and seized. which is why he's so upset about this. we're well-versed and knowledgeable about the ongoing activities going on in moscow.
7:27 am
the collusion subject. have you formed an opinion as to whether that meets with his pattern of practice? >> well what we know is that putin is a kgb operative. he understands there are only two ways to deal with people in his world view. one is by bribing people, and the other is by blackmailing or extorting people. and so they would have approached this meeting with donald trump with, either an offer or a threat. we don't know what that offer was or what that threat was. and whether it was in any way successful. but we do know how putin operates. >> bill browder, thank you so much. stay safe. thank you. coming up, live comments from president trump speaking at a dedication for the country's newest aircraft carrier. and arnold schwarzenegger talks climate change with me in washington. we'll be back with more of my conversation with the governorator.
7:28 am
♪ where all the walls echo with laughter ♪ ♪ and every room has its own chapter ♪ you've carried on your family's tradition. let us help you prepare for your family's future. financial guidance while you're mastering life. from chase. so you can. where are mom and dad? 'saved money on motorcycle insurance with geico! goin' up the country. love mom and dad' i'm takin' a nap. dude, you just woke up! ♪ ♪ i'm goin' up the country, baby don't you wanna go? ♪
7:29 am
♪ i'm goin' up the country, baby don't you wanna go? ♪ geico motorcycle, great rates for great rides. their leadership is instinctive. they're experts in things you haven't heard of - researchers of technologies that one day, you will. some call them the best of the best. some call them veterans. we call them our team. if you could book a flight, then add a hotel, or car, or activity in one place and save, where would you go? ♪ expedia gives you the world in your hand,
7:30 am
so you can see more of it. ♪ expedia.
7:31 am
yeah, and i can watch thee bgame with directv now.? oh, sorry, most broadcast and sports channels aren't included. and you can only stream on two devices at once. this is fun, we're having fun. yeah, we are. no, you're not jimmy. don't let directv now limit your entertainment. xfinity gives you more to stream to more screens.
7:32 am
welcome back. we're waiting on president trump's remarks at the commissioning of the uss gerald railroad ford in norfolk, virginia we'll get to the president as soon as he's ready to speak. but first, this week, california governor jerry brown struck a climate change deal that a few years ago would have been unthinkable. the democratic governor was successful in attracting the support of seven republican members of the assembly. was the road paved by brown's predecessor? arnold schwarzenegger. yesterday on capitol hill i sat down with the governator. >> we've been talking about the problem of gridlock and yet, something complex with regard to climate change just got down in your native state, speak to that. >> we were very fortunate in our
7:33 am
state it doesn't mat fer you're a republican governor, democratic governor, the policies continue on. this consistency in california. that's why so many people like to invest in california, especially when it comes to green technology and renewables and all the stuff, it's a green economy in california, is booming because people see consistency. so all the environmental laws that i have for instance pushed and if it is ab-32, to reduce greenhouse gases, 25% by the year 2020. or if it is the cap and trade, jerry brown is a democrat. he continues on with my policies. but he says i can even do better. schwarzenegger did it to 2020, i'm going to extend it to 2030. what happened was, he needed republican votes. i didn't have any republican votes. whendy my environmental stuff in california. he got eight republican votes. because the way the
7:34 am
redistricting works now, it brought the the two extremes together, closer and closer. so today now they now can work together on some of those issues. not all issues, it hasn't been fixed, but on a lot of issues. so that now democrats voted 90% in the chamber of commerce, republicans now are in the voting for a environmental bill, eight of them have voted. otherwise, jerry brown couldn't have got tn done. >> i think you anticipated my next question. is. >> is one of the reasons why he was able to get the seven republican votes on cap and trade because of the groundwork that you laid specifically on getting rid of gerrymandering and also the system of open primaries. is this the net effect? >> this has everything to do with that. because as i said, i knew when we created the reforms when i was governor, it would have no
7:35 am
effect on my administration it takes time to do that. 2008, one won in 2010. so then i knew it would take effect in 2012. which is when jerry brown was already in. but that didn't matter. i am so happy that it works for him. i'm so happy that it works for future governors. that it works for future legislators and in the end it works for the people of california. you got to serve the people and you got to fine-tune our system. i cannot believe that for 200 years we have had a fixed political system here in america. and finally we are doing something about it and people are paying attention. because they see the lack of action. so it's great for the environment that i'm really, that's one of my passions is to protect the environment and make sure the world is going in a greener direction. get off fossil fuels and coming up in the technology and we all work together in this stuff to get rid of the death that we are
7:36 am
creating. because when you say 13 million people a year die because of pollution, there's no reason why we do that. >> i pay close attention to you in the headlines and the social media and i followed your trip to france and it seems like you're meeting with president macron. you really bonded. you must have spoken on this specific issue and the climate accord, the paris accord, that we withdrew from. where's that issue? >> one of the main reasons why i went over there, they had an event at university of paris, where they reelevated their commitment to c.o.p. 21 hand the foreign minister, fabius of france was the one who was really responsible for the whole kind of laying out the whole strategy on how to make it win over there. he with a very determined right from the beginning, always. said to me, i didn't want to have another c.o.p. 21, c.o.p. 22, c.o.p. 23, i want it to be a
7:37 am
memorable one. everyone has to sign on. i helped him with that. and the previous french president, whom hollande asked help with that so it was great to meet with the new president, because he's going to continue with that and just to reassure them in my speech in france, it was a wonderful afternoon. we gave the speeches and it was an enthusiastic crowd and the audience and all that stuff. i wanted to let them know. say look america did not leave the paris accord. c.o.p. 21. we as a country are united, we want to be part of the c.o.p. 2 1rks the paris agreement. it is just that the president dropped out. but it's not the united states. >> what is it that you get, governor schwarzenegger, that president trump doesn't get relative to the accord? >> i don't think that it has so much to do with what you get. it has something to do with we
7:38 am
have different beliefs, you know, so people have different beliefs,ky not expect everything to think like me, he thinks differently this is the way it is. it is up to us now, to convince the president. it is up to the rest of the world to convince him that okay, that's the way you feel. here's another way of looking at it. and rather than you know attacking it, i think we have to bring him back and bring him in and maybe it will work eventually. in the meantime what's important is i always said, don't have the whole thing rely on the capital. it has to rely on the various different states and the cities, neighborhoods, individuals, companies, the private sector. academic sector. everyone has to work together to make it happen. and all of those sectors didn't drop out. the president dropped out. >> we got to move forward this
7:39 am
is such an important issue, if you believe in global climate change or not, you can think your own thing about that. but the 13 million people die a year, that is not kind of a theory or this is something that's going to happen in the future. right now today, another 19,000 people are dying because of pollution. and that we have to stop. everyone has to agree to that. then from the rest, we can go and have debates, ideological debates and scientific debates and all that stuff but let's stop the pollution now. >> thank you for being so gracious with your time. >> absolutely. any time for you, mike. >> thank you. >> absolutely. arnold's army, gathering at make washington work for let's check in with my facebook and twitter pages. schwarzenegger is a modern example of someone in the entertainment biz that is capable of running government.
7:40 am
real donald trump take note. >> i want to give him props, i'm enamored with the guy, i really am. successful as a body building, successful as an entertainer. successful as a politician and successful as a businessman. he is really now having spent a lot of time with him, he is really a bright guy. do not underestimate the intelligence of the governator. hit me with another one if we've got it. let's make an exception for -- yes, yes. i was wondering if somebody was going to raise the whole natural-born issue and who gets to run. for president, it's a good observation and you're not the only one thinking it, i am sure. the president's numbers are in the tank. but does he run any risk of the conservative press abandoning him? i will ask one of their most important leaders. chris ruddy. still with me in a minute.
7:41 am
7:42 am
7:43 am
7:44 am
what's critical thinking like? a basketball costs $14. what's team spirit worth? (cheers) what's it worth to talk to your mom? what's the value of a walk in the woods? the value of capital is to create, not just wealth, but things that matter. morgan stanley i found the perfect come in this afternoon. oh. no. no! when the unexpected strikes... don't worry we've got you covered. the hartford strikes back. welcome back, we're still waiting on president trump's remarks at the commissioning of
7:45 am
the "uss gerald r. ford" in norfolk, virginia i welcome back the newsmax ceo and friend. the standing within the republican party remains strong for president trump, but his poll numbers are low. it's often occurred to me that when he'll have a real problem of his base, if and when he loses support of individuals like you and newsmax and breitbart and drudge. i see some signs of cracks in the armor. whether it's charles krauthammer. whether it's shepherd smith at fox or whether it's this headline from drudge. but my question is, do you see any risk that the gop media base abandons him? >> i want to go back to the premise of the question that his approval numbers are poor. you said 39%, he's been hovering
7:46 am
around 40%. barack obama spent almost his entire eight years between 38% and 42%. one election led with high approval numbers. i never heard anyone say on cnn, msnbc that he had poor approval numbers, even though he was at basically where trump is. michael, consider how incredible it is that this president has suffered the incredible attacks from your network and others, and he's still pulling 40%. i think getting to your question on the base he has like -- >> before you get to the question, let me just push back on that. your numbers relative to barack obama, accurate, however, were at the six-month post. and if you look at every modern president at this juncture, he is way the heck below where any of them were. >> you forgot the first part of that logic, the first six months we've never had a president that's never suffered the attacks he's suffered.
7:47 am
president trump figures out things quickly. he's got a rock-solid republican conservative base. i would encourage him and i've writ bn this, to go more to the center. to grab -- i think his success comes from his popularity. his popularity will come from legislative reforms. tax cuts, infrastructure. i think he can do big bills in education. we have a student loan crisis, $1.4 trillion. nobody is talking about it, except the 20 million kids that can't pay their loans every month. and the families struggling. this is the guy that can do it. he's a unifier, my experience with him over many years, he's not an idealogue. one of the things i like about scaramucci joining the team. anthony is a very savvy business guy. he doesn't have ideological handcuffs, he's not going to put them on the president. the president can reach to the center. he should do it and i think the democrats, i hope the democrats, you talk to a lot more of them
7:48 am
than i do, but i hear that they're willing to work with him if, if they stop getting so many attacks from rachel maddow and don lemon and others every night. >> nothing would shut up the critics perhaps more than getting something done. he's got control of both houses and no legislative achievement of significance he can point to. you get 30 seconds to respond to that before i think i'm going to lose you to the president. >> look, i totally agree. and i think he will, i predicted there will be a six-month period, i think he's going to go out and reach to the center and he's going to amaze people. jon huntsman, rick grinnelli picking for germany, these are amazing choices he's picked for his cabinet. >> chris ruddy. thank you so much for sticking around. >> if you get fired by cnn, i will hire you for newsmax tv. >> i'm going to file that away.
7:49 am
hopefully that doesn't happen for a while. still to come, waiting on president trump's remarks on the commissioning of the "uss gerald r. ford" in norfolk, virginia. and your best and worst tweets, like this one. will the president try to pardon himself while on board the "uss gerald ford"? steven calderbank, you have missed your calling my friend. back in just a second. award winning interface. award winning design. award winning engine. the volvo xc90. the most awarded luxury suv of the century. this july visit your local volvo dealer to receive sommar savings of up to $4,500.
7:50 am
7:51 am
7:52 am
this july visit your local volvo dealer to keep our community safe. before you do any project big or small, pg&e will come out and mark your gas and electric lines so you don't hit them when you dig. call 811 before you dig, and make sure that you and your neighbors are safe.
7:53 am
811 is available to any business our or homeownerfe. to make sure that you identify where your utilities are if you are gonna do any kind of excavation no matter how small or large before you dig, call 811. keep yourself safe. you're looking live from norfolk, virginia. president trump will soon speak and you will hear it live right here on cnn. this is the commissioning of the "uss gerald r. ford." looks like governor mcauliffe is about to speak there are a number of speakers who will
7:54 am
precede president trump and we promise we will be there when the commander-in-chief is ready to address that crowd. in the meantime, plenty of twitter activity. plenty of facebook activity during the course of the program. thank you for that. if you ever miss any of the program you can catch us at any time at cnn go, online and through your connected devices and apps and thanks for the twitter and facebook reaction. what do we have? smerkonish, fast-forward six more months, any predictions? >> stephen, i have surrendered my card for progostication. they don't let me make predictions any more, because i was so often wrong during the build-up to election day in 2016. if i say bet on black, you want to bet on red. you follow? give me another one. stop pretending you're not a crazy lib. wow, we're not dumb. oh, i get it, angelo. so today is one of those days when i'm a crazy lib. let's see, during the course of my broadcast here today, i came
7:55 am
on the air and i said i was with sean spicer at the white house yesterday. you know he's a pretty decent guy and as always been a gentleman in my dealings with him. i'm a crazy lib for that then i hosted chris ruddy, who is a friend of president donald trump and i said it's been a horrific two weeks for the trump administration and gave him the opportunity to respond. i'm a crazy lib for that. i hosted arnold schwarzenegger. i'm a crazy lib. it doesn't make sense. none of it makes sense. watch the entire program. do i have time for one more? i think that i do. smerkonish, you are -- okay, come on. that's it. now i give up. i want this, i want this twitter person to hook up with the last twitter person. look at that you are a trump friend, it's like listening to fox noise. katherine, can you go back to the last one? if we put the last tweet back up on the screen. that's the marriage that will be made in heaven.
7:56 am
angelo, would you please tweet at the other person. to the extent the two of you are single, you should hook up. thank you for watching, see you next week. and you have the determination to keep going. humira has a proven track record of being prescribed for nearly 10 years. humira works inside the body to target and help block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to symptoms. in clinical trials, most adults taking humira were clear or almost clear and many saw 75% and even 90% clearance in just four months. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal, infections and cancers, including lymphoma have happened as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common, and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms, or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection. join over 250,000 people who have chosen humira.
7:57 am
ask about the #1 prescribed biologic by dermatologists. humira & go. if you could book a flight, then add a hotel, or car, or activity in one place and save, where would you go? ♪ expedia gives you the world in your hand, so you can see more of it. ♪ expedia. ♪ mom. ♪
7:58 am
♪ where all the walls echo with laughter ♪ ♪ and every room has its own chapter ♪ you've carried on your family's tradition. let us help you prepare for your family's future. financial guidance while you're mastering life. from chase. so you can.
7:59 am
8:00 am
these make cleaning between myi love gum brand for healthy gums. soft picks, proxabrush cleaners, flossers. gum brand. hello, it's 11:00 on the east coast. i'm fredricka witfield. welcome to the news room. setting sail as storm clouds loom. president trump is attending a commissioning ceremony for the "uss gerald r. ford," a new nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. we'll bring you his remarks live momentarily. in washington, the white house is under deepening scrutiny, a new report indicates attorney general jeff sessions may have lied to officials about discussing trump campaign matters with russia's ambassador. and in the investigation into that secret campaign meeting, with a russian lawyer at trump tower